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Best Buy gets unlocked subsidized T-Mobile phones?

updated 01:30 pm EST, Wed November 5, 2008

Best Buy T-Mobile phones?

Based on a new report, Best Buy Mobile stores will soon offer a choice of three Nokia smartphones subsidized by contracts from wireless provider T-Mobile. Reportedly starting on November 16th, the offers will allow buyers to choose from the E71 in grey or white with a two-year T-Mobile contract for just shy of $200, instead of the unlocked, contract-free price of about $460. The N95 will cost $350 on a two-year term versus $760 retail, while the N96 will be priced at about $600, down from nearly $900 contract-free.

None of the handsets, however, will allegedly take advantage of T-Mobile's 3G data network, as they are relegated to the slower EDGE network due to the lack of a 1700MHz antenna. Buyers will not be required to get data plans with the handsets. Only participating Best Buy Mobile locations will offer the T-Mobile subsidized handsets.

Such a move would be unusual for US carriers, which typically resist selling unlocked devices directly to customers, though T-Mobile has lately loosened its software restrictions with the release of the Android-based G1, whose open-source OS allows any third-party app. [via TmoNews]







By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. smartcards

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2008

    0

    Unlocked GSM phones

    Great to see more carrier offering unlocked phones in the USA. Hope the browser is also unlocked so international prepaid SIM cards (with data capability) can also be used in the phone. Voice and Data rates charged while roaming overseas (with a USA carrier SIM) are much higher than just USA usage. Being able to swap SIMs in and out depending on where you need to use the unlocked phone is great. Trying to get T-Mobile to unlock your phone and browser "after you buy it" is not a good use of time.

    Jeff Turner
    www.intouchsmartcards.com

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